There are over a dozen subspecies of brown bears.
A grizzly bear is a classification of bears of the species Ursus arctos. Different subspecies of bears within the brown bear family include the grizzly bear and the Kodiak bear, among others. There are more than a dozen subspecies of grizzly bears that inhabit parts of Asia, Europe and North America, with one of the highest concentrations of grizzly bears inhabiting Russia. Some of these other subspecies include the Cantabrian brown bear, the Gobi bear, and the Atlas bear.
Grizzly bears often eat larger males, such as moose.
Despite the name, the color of grizzly bears is not always brown. Coat colors can range from brown to reddish brown. One of the larger brown bears, the grizzly, can display fur that appears to have a yellow tint, or it can be so dark that the fur appears black. Grizzly bears that live in the Rocky Mountains of the United States are known to have hair that extends from their back and shoulders, which is silver.
The Kodiak stands alongside the polar bear as one of the world’s biggest meat eaters living on land. A large grizzly bear weighs an average of 1,000 pounds (453 kg) and the even larger Kodiak can weigh over 1,500 pounds (680 kg). One of the smaller subspecies of the grizzly bear, the Gobi bear, weighs an average of just 90 kg in adulthood.
The length of a large male brown bear can reach 9 feet (3 m) and although females are generally smaller, they can still reach 8 feet (2.4 m) in length. Despite their large size when fully grown, these bears can weigh less than 2 pounds (907 g) at birth. Blind and hairless cubs are usually born during the mother grizzly bear’s period of inactivity, often known as hibernation. This period varies depending on the bear’s climate and surrounding habitat.
The preferred diet of grizzly bears is meat; but these bears are classified as omnivores. They will consume what is available during the current season, including fruits, insects, and larger mammals such as moose and moose. The Alaskan brown bear feeds primarily on fish during the upstream salmon spawning that occurs annually in Alaska. When grizzly bears are preparing for their annual inactivity or hibernation, they consume as much protein as possible to form their fat pads.
Contact with bears has become more common due to human expansion and deforestation. All bears, including grizzly bears, should be considered dangerous and avoided whenever possible. Grizzly bears can be extremely aggressive, especially those that startle and mothers with cubs. Most wild brown bears avoid human contact, but their behavior can be unpredictable.
In the wild, there are no bears found in Africa, Antarctica or Australia. The Atlas bear, native to Africa, is believed to have become extinct in the late 19th century. Only one species of bear, the South American spectacled bear, lives south of the equator. Although the spectacled bear is not a brown bear, it shares many unique characteristics with its brown cousins.